The 2022 Durfort-Vivens is a wild, exotic wine that very much shows the natural opulence of the year. Super-ripe dark red/purplish fruit, pomegranate and sweet spice are front and center. There’s a bit more Merlot in this year’s blend, and that seems to come through in the wine’s overall fruit intensity. The final blend is project to be 70% new oak and 30% amphora, but the sample I tasted was only taken from oak components, as the wine had only been racked into amphora shortly prior to this tasting.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
Great balance, this has the spice and exoticism of the vintage, with pomegranate, cardamom and turmeric spice, along with creamy cappuccino and damson fruits. Feels effortless and balanced, step by step building in juice, enjoyment and pleasure. It's ripe and concentrated, with the structure for long ageing. 30hl/h. Owned by Gonzague Lurton, owner also of Acaibo in Sonoma, which has had its own challenges in terms of extreme temperatures. 70% new oak, 30% amphora for ageing. Harvest from September 1 to October 12, got to be one of the longest in terms of red grapes picking in the vintage.
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2023)
Deep crimson hue. Creamy and expressive with crème de cassis notes. Plenty of lift and freshness, the fruit juicy and tannins fine. Firmly structured all the same. Pinpoint for the vintage.
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2023)
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
The quality of the tannins are pure velvet yet so, so fine in texture. Medium to full body with a weightless presence and beautiful heart. Rose stem and other flowers. 84% cabernet sauvignon and 16% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Lovely freshness and aromatic complexity on the nose; herbs, spices, flowers, bitterness, freshness. Juicy and alive, a brightness and liveliness straight away. The energy here is wonderful, so lean and clean, pure and precise, very pretty, fun and joyful with a salty tang underneath. Delicate almost with such well integrated tannins giving a soft push from start to finish. Really very compelling and drinkable, easy to approach with layers of freshness and the most gorgeous acidity. Not as dense or fleshy as others, but makes up for it in bite, energy and enjoyable minerality. Effortless winemaking.
3.65pH. 12% press. 85-90 IPT, but you wouldn’t tell, it’s so sleek, the power is channelled in a straight line from start to finish. Ageing: 18 months, 70% in new oak barrels and 30% in amphorae TAVA.
Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2023)
The 2022 Château Durfort-Vivens showed brilliantly and is a seriously good wine in the making. Vinified at Brane-Cantenac and aging in 60% new oak, with 40% in amphora, it has a pure, focused, medium to full-bodied style as well as both red and black fruits, some violet and floral nuances, nicely integrated oak, and a great finish. This is one of those wines that builds with time in the glass, and it should clearly be outstanding, if not truly exceptional.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Château Durfort-Vivens has been owned by the Lurton family since 1961 when Lucien Lurton purchased it from the Gineset family. For many years this 2ème Cru Classé Margaux property was perceived as underachieving - however, the estate has undergone a mini-renaissance since Lucien`s son Gonzague took over at the helm.
Durfort-Vivens's vineyards(Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 20%, Cabernet Franc 15%) lie on gravelly soils interspersed with limestone. Vinification includes approximately 18 months' wood ageing, 30-50% new oak.
The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend (82%) is the highest of any wine in the southern Médoc and gives the wine classic blackcurrant and cassis characteristics as well as notable tannins and structure. Durfort-Vivens may be approached after 5 years or so in bottle but will continue improving for up to 10 years.
If Pauillac can be seen as the bastion of ‘traditional’ Red Bordeaux, then Margaux represents its other facet in producing wines that are among Bordeaux’s most sensual and alluring. It is the largest commune in the Médoc, encompassing the communes of Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labaude, in addition to Margaux itself. Located in the centre of the Haut-Médoc, Margaux is the closest of the important communes to the city of Bordeaux.
The soils in Margaux are the lightest and most gravelly of the Médoc, with some also containing a high percentage of sand. Vineyards located in Cantenac and Margaux make up the core of the appelation with the best vineyard sites being located on well-drained slopes, whose lighter soils give Margaux its deft touch and silky perfumes. Further away from the water, there is a greater clay content and the wines are less dramatically perfumed.
Margaux is the most diffuse of all the Médoc appelations with a reputation for scaling the heights with irreproachable wines such as Ch. Margaux and Ch. Palmer, but also plumbing the depths, with too many other châteaux not fulfilling their potential. There has been an upward shift in recent years, but the appellation cannot yet boast the reliability of St Julien. However, the finest Margaux are exquisitely perfumed and models of refinement and subtlety which have few parallels in Bordeaux.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.